Recently, Rugose Spiralling Whitefly’ which attacks palms, coconuts and bananas has been spotted in Pune city.
- These are winged insects that have soft bodies and are closely related to aphids.
- These are tiny, sap-sucking insects that may become abundant in vegetable and ornamental plantings, especially during warm weather.
- It is naturally distributed in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico (Martin, 2008) and subsequently, it has spread to 22 other countries in Central and South America.
- It mainly infests coconut palms and other broad-leaved hosts in its native range
- It is an invasive insect.
How the insect attacks
- The whitefly starts attacking the lower leaves of the coconut palm.
- It drains the sap from the underside of the leaf, producing a significant amount of honeydew which settles on the upper surface of the next lower leaf, leading to the growth of black, sooty mould.
- This is the secondary infection from the whitefly infestation.
- It has a serious impact on the production of coconut.
- Not only does it reduce the size of the coconut, but it also decreases the coconut’s water content.
Q1) What are Aphids?
Aphids, also known as plant lice, are small sap-sucking insects that belong to the superfamily Aphidoidea. They are a common pest in gardens, farms, and agricultural fields.